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AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 43AOPA Online Members Only -- AOPA ePilot Custom Content -- Vol. 7, Issue 43

The following stories from the October 28, 2005, edition of AOPA ePilot were provided to AOPA members who expressed an interest in the particular subject areas. Any AOPA member can receive information tailored to their areas of interest by updating their preferences online.

My ePilot - Jet Interest
Bombardier Aerospace, manufacturer of the Challenger and Learjet lines of business jets, hosted its ninth annual Safety Standdown this week in Wichita, Kansas. The Standdown is a three-day event that includes safety seminars, lectures, and hands-on emergency training. The event is offered free of charge to pilots flying any type of business aircraft. This year, 435 attendees took courses on aviation psychology, international operations, and emergency ground- and water-egress training (complete with simulators). "Seventy-eight percent of aircraft accidents are attributable to human error and operational mistakes," said Robert Agostino, Bombardier's director of flight operations. "And while technology and FAA certification requirements have increased dramatically in the past 15 years, emphasis on the man-machine interaction hasn't. That's why we need to step up our emphasis on safe attitudes and procedures." This year's Standdown's slogan was "War on Error" and featured seminars on pilot error, professionalism, advanced aerodynamics, performance, and crew pairings. Astronauts Gene Cernan, Joe Engle, and Steven Nagel were guest speakers, as well as airshow legend R.A. "Bob" Hoover and FAA Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety Nicholas Sabatini. Attendance at the Standdown qualifies participants for academic credits at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the National Test Pilot School.

My ePilot - Helicopter Interest
Robinson has combined software from Flight Management Systems with existing Robinson R44 hardware to offer a GPS moving map system in the R44 Raven II. The system includes a Stealth personal computer with Intel 1.2 GHz Celeron processor, keyboard, and moving map software. A Garmin 420 GPS/com provides the helicopter position data. The system allows police to type in an address, and its location will be displayed on a street map, along with the current position of the helicopter, direction, distance, and estimated time of arrival. The moving map option costs $15,000, including installation of parcel map data supplied by the law enforcement agency.

My ePilot - Sport Pilot Interest
The U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, originally scheduled for October 27 through 30 in Florida, has been postponed until January 12 through 15. The U.S. Sport Aviation Expo Advisory Board feared that the impact of Hurricane Wilma would prevent it from staging a professional event at Sebring Regional Airport in Sebring, Florida. Exhibitors who did not wish to reschedule for the new January date were promised a full refund. For more information, see the Web site.

My ePilot - Own/May Own Interest
Whether you own an early model Cessna 172 or you recently purchased one right from the factory, you can equip it with Wipline floats now that the company has received supplemental type certification (STC) for straight and amphibious floats for almost all Cessna 172 models (only military and Franklin engine models are excluded). The STCs allow floats to be installed on aircraft even with varying engine and propeller combinations. The company is offering two models: the Wipline 2100 series straight floats, $24,500, and amphibious floats, $39,500; or the Wipline 2350 series straight floats, $25,500, and amphibious floats $42,500. Costs include the floats and STC kit. The company also can install the floats. For more information, visit the Web site.

My ePilot - Turboprop Interest
The FAA has issued airworthiness concern sheets (ACSs) on MU-2B aircraft. The agency is considering airworthiness action, including an airworthiness directive, that would mandate certain MU-2B service bulletins affecting engine torque indication system calibration, propeller feathering linkage rigging, flight idle fuel flow adjustment, and wing attach barrel nuts. A special airworthiness information bulletin is posted on AOPA Online. Comments are due November 24 to the FAA's Airplane Certification Office, ASW-150, 2601 Meacham Blvd., Fort Worth, Texas, 76137-4298.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Tips
You are in cruise flight on a daytime cross-country when a warning on the panel catches your eye. Electrical power is being discharged and is not being replenished by the alternator. In some aircraft, you are alerted by a low-voltage light and the ammeter showing a discharge. In others, the total load on the alternator is displayed on the ammeter; alternator failure is indicated by a zero load. Meanwhile, the airplane is flying along strongly, thanks to the dual magnetos that are independent of the electrical system.

As the pilot, you have some decisions to make. "If the alternator has failed, must you land immediately? That depends on your situation, but for visual daytime flying the answer is 'not necessarily.' Battery life is the primary concern," Ralph Butcher explained in his "Insights" column in the May 2001 AOPA Flight Training.

Study your aircraft's pilot's operating handbook (POH) checklist for handling low-voltage occurrences. For example, alternator failure in a Piper PA-28-140E is detected by a zero reading on the ammeter. The pilot verifies the problem by activating an electrically powered device such as the landing light. If no increase in ammeter reading appears, the POH gives these steps: Reduce electrical load, check alternator circuit breakers, switch off the "alt" switch (in many aircraft this switch is half of the split-type master switch), then turn it back on after a brief interval. If the alternator remains offline, "maintain minimum electrical load and land as soon as practical. All electrical load is being supplied by the battery." Note the Butcher article's suggestion for protecting avionics from voltage spikes during this procedure.

How the pilot manages this load-shedding chore will determine whether electrical power is available for communication and navigation until landing, writes Steven W. Ells in his "Airframe and Powerplant" feature in the April 2003 AOPA Pilot.

On a related subject, generators once were the mainstay of light-aircraft electrical systems. They have been supplanted by alternators, which are generally lighter and more reliable over a broader engine-power range. The systems are compared in Chapter 5 of the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Know what's installed in your aircraft, and have a plan in case the bank account that is your electrical-power supply ever threatens to become overdrawn.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Training Products
Sporty's Instrument Rating Course on DVD has been re-edited and digitally remastered with new content. New features include expanded in-flight footage demonstrating instrument flight, with comprehensive explanations of GPS equipment and RNAV approaches. Also new are segments on glass-cockpit technology and other avionics advances. The course is designed to prepare an instrument student for the knowledge, oral, and flight tests for the instrument rating. Each task within the practical test standards is cross-referenced to where that subject can be found in the course. The Instrument Rating Course comes with a 60-page training course outline, an airport signs and markings guide, a practical test standards (PTS) booklet, and a graduation certificate. It sells for $229. Order online or call 800/SPORTYS.

Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.

My ePilot - Student Interest, Final Exam
Question: The navigational aid identification box on a VFR sectional chart often has a letter "A," "T," or "H" encircled in the upper right-hand corner. What do the letters represent?

Answer: Those letters represent a type of weather broadcast that can be listened to over the navigational aid frequency. The "A" represents an automated surface observing system (ASOS) or automated weather observing system (AWOS) broadcast. The "T" represents a transcribed weather broadcast (TWEB). The "H" represents the hazardous in-flight weather advisory service (HIWAS). Chapter 7 of the Aeronautical Information Manual describes in detail each of these weather broadcasts along with the type of information they contain. An ASOS/AWOS provides surface weather observations for a particular airport. A TWEB is a prerecorded message with route-oriented data varying from METARs to winds aloft to in-flight advisories. HIWAS is a continuous broadcast of in-flight weather advisories like airmets, sigmets, and urgent pireps. For additional information on aeronautical chart symbols, see the Aeronautical Chart User's Guide on AOPA Online.

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